Investors, suppliers, staff want answers from closed eatery

Datuk Seri Michael Chong. - filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Hundreds of investors, suppliers and staff of a popular seafood restaurant chain want answers from the firm which folded in September, after it allegedly failed to pay them their dues.

More than 30 of them showed up at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department in hopes of getting Datuk Seri Michael Chong’s help to resolve their plight.

“We have set up a task force that includes a team of lawyers and a chartered accountant to look into reasons why the company failed to pay these people their dues, ” said Chong here yesterday.

It is understood that about 400 investors and more than 30 employees are affected.

Chong, who heads the department, said he received many complaints from the company’s employees who claimed that payments to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) ceased since September last year.

He added that investors and suppliers were also waiting for their promised payments.

“All they know is that the company has closed down, and though they understand that times are hard these days, they have the right to know why they haven’t been compensated, ” he said.

Chong estimated that the company owed more than RM10mil to its investors, suppliers and workers.

He said the group had many questions and the chartered accountant in the task force would conduct forensic accounting to look for possible signs of criminal breach of trust.

“Some of the victims have also lodged police reports and are hoping investigators could provide some answers, ” he said.

Lim Terk Yu, the head chef of the restaurant chain, claimed that the company had stopped making EPF and Socso contributions since early this year and had also slashed their salaries.

“When we enquired, the company was evasive, only saying that it would make contributions later, ” he said.

Lim, 37, only found out in August that the company was going to close down and it still owed him two months’ pay.

The workers, he added, had lodged a complaint with EPF.

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